Game Of Thrones: 10 Jon Snow Mannerisms & Traits From The Books Kit Harrington Nailed

With House of the Dragon proving that there is still plenty of excitement for the world of Game of Thrones, fans can get ready for plenty more spinoff series to come. One rumored show that has piqued fans’ attention the most has been a sequel series with Kit Harrington returning as Jon Snow.

While Jon’s arc in the final season didn’t impress viewers, the character remains an iconic television hero. That is partially thanks to Harrington’s performance who brought the mannerisms and traits of Jon Snow from the books into the show to make one of the most popular characters on Game of Thrones.


His Moodiness

Jon Snow at Castle Black looking intently off-camera in Game of Thrones.

While there are plenty of exciting and fun characters on Game of Thrones, Harrington never got many opportunities to act like that. Jon is a very moody character, always seeming as though he is in a bad mood. Tyrion even comments on his exceptional brooding skills in one episode.

Likewise, Jon is described as very sullen in the books. Though he has more of a dry humor than is seen in the show, he is not one to crack a smile very often and rarely finds the positivity in any situation.

His Skills As A Swordsman

Jon Snow Fights White Walker in Hardhome Episode of Game of Thrones

Though there are more powerful characters on Game of Thrones, Jon proves himself one of the best swordsmen in Westeros. Harrington excels at the battle sequences, showing off Jon’s exceptional fighting abilities and making him seem all the more heroic.

Jon has not seen nearly as many battles in the books, but he is still seen as one of the best fighters in the Night’s Watch despite his age. He bests his comrades in training and shows plenty of speed and agility in the real fights he has been in.

His Guarded Nature

Jon Snow brooding under the snow in Game of Thrones.

Just like aspects of his own life, Jon Snow is a very guarded young man. Whether at home in Winterfell or with his new companions at Castle Black, Harrington plays him with a mix of heroic stoicism and a lonely withdrawn nature.

In the books, as Tyrion is accompanying Jon and the others to the Wall, he remarks about how guarded Jon is. While anyone might seem guarded compared to Tyrion, he is a sharp judge of character and expresses sympathy for the boy who seems so alone.

His Feeling As An Outsider

The Starks lined up in Winterfell in GOT's first episode

The Stark family only has the first couple of episodes of the series to be together before being separated. However, even then Jon seems like an outsider in the family. During the scenes with the family at Winterfell Harrington plays Jon with a sense of discomfort and shame about being pushed slightly to the side.

The feelings of being an outsider are a big part of Jon’s character in the novel and are responsible for much of his journey. When the king visits Winterfell, he even tries to drunkenly crash the feast after being told he cannot attend.

His Closeness With Robb And Arya

Though he doesn’t feel like a real Stark, Jon is close to some Stark siblings. He and Robb are shown to get along very well with Jon remembering how much he looked up to him upon hearing of Robb’s death. But with Arya, he sees her as a real little sister and perhaps someone else who doesn’t fit in with the family.

These connections are just as strong in the books. Arya considers Jon to be a closer sibling than her true-born siblings. Robb even considers naming Jon as the heir to his titles before he is killed, showing how much he trusts his half-brother.

His Connection To Nights Watch

Jon and Sam looking at each other in Game of Thrones

One of the things that helps change Jon’s feeling as an outsider is when he joins the Night’s Watch. While it doesn’t start smoothly, his comrades become a second family to him with Harrington’s performance showing a sense of belonging.

Jon finds this purpose and acceptance in the books as well. When Stannis offers to make Jon a true Stark and give him Winterfell, Jon decides to stay with the Night’s Watch as he no longer feels the need to define himself by his position within the Stark family.

His Connection To Wildlings

Ygritte and Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

One thing that complicates Jon’s connection to the Night’s Watch is his connection to the Wildlings. Though they are seen as one of Jon’s worst enemies in Game of Thrones during the first seasons, once Jon begins living among them, he sees they are more complex than that.

The books don’t have the onscreen chemistry Jon shares with characters like Ygritte and Tormund. However, he still shares a strong connection to these people, from the way he respects their leader Mance Rayder to his efforts to settle them in their new lives in Westeros.

His Youthful Insecurities

Things You Didn't Know About Jon Snow: Bastard Names

One of the biggest differences between the books and the show is the ages of the characters. Jon is a teenager when the books begin and he has a typical teenage attitude. He can be whiny and immature at times, making him appear less heroic but somehow more relatable.

Though he is older in the show, Harrington captures this aspect of Jon in season 1, showing him as a young man who is easily insulted and complains when things don’t go his way. When he is assigned to be a steward at Castle Black, he acts more like a child than a warrior.

His Natural Leadership

Jon Snow and The Wildlings in Game of Thrones

Though some feel Jon gets worse on Game of Thrones over time, he does improve as a leader. Fans get to see Jon take on more and more responsibility as he learns, makes mistakes, and learns again. In the episode “Watchers On the Wall,” Harrington has shown why men would follow Jon into battle.

Similarly, the books show Jon put aside the youthful aspects of himself to become someone who can lead the Night’s Watch. Very early on in this role, he proves himself as someone who can make the hard decisions and face the dangerous situations.

His Conflict Between Duty And Love

Jon Snow looks at Daenerys' dead body in True Detective

Jon is a tragic character in many ways, especially with how his story ends. He is dedicated to his duty and is often forced to sacrifice the things he loves. This is the choice he makes in the finale, killing Daenerys to save Westeros.

While the books have yet to reach that point for Jon’s character, it is already an idea he has struggled with and one that has cost him dearly. From staying with the Night’s Watch when Ned is killed to seeing Ygritte killed in the battle against the Wildlings, Jon learns that duty is the death of love.

NEXT: 10 Daenerys Mannerisms And Traits From The Books Emilia Clarke Nailed On Game Of Thrones

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